Simple weekday Caesar

Posted on February 7, 2006 by Aun

I’m not a big fan of salads. A plate full of raw vegetables just doesn’t do it for me. That said, I really like Caesar Salads. My wife S, of course, likes to complain that a Caesar, like a Cobb, is hardly healthy and I really shouldn’t be pretending that by ordering one I’m watching my ever-increasing weight.

The Caesar, for fascinated food historians, was reportedly invented by Caesar Cardini, an Italian restaurateur in Tijuana, Mexico, and first served on 4 July, 1924 to a group of vacationing Hollywood stars. Also noteworthy is that the original Caesar didn’t have any anchovies in it. The original contained just Romaine (Cos) lettuce, coddled eggs, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, croutons, salt and pepper. When the achovies were added is kind of a culinary mystery. These days, the classic Caesar uses an achovy-accented dressing and often includes bacon. Many restaurants also top their Caesars with pan-seared salmon, chicken or prawns. My favorite Caesars in town are the ones made by Project Shop Café and the garlic prawn version that chefs Jimmy Chok and Anderson Ho used to make at Fig Leaf restaurant, way back when it was in Central Mall.

The great thing about a Caesar Salad is that once you’ve made your dressing, it’s actually a cinch to make. We like to use Thomas Keller’s dressing recipe, found in his French Laundry Cookbook (and transcribed below). Keller’s Caesar, of course, is tres chic. But this dressing works just as well on simpler versions. For our weeknight quick fix, S and I used baby Romaine, maple-smoked bacon, poached eggs, freshly grated parmesan, and prawns dusted in salt and flour and then quickly fried. Easy, healthy (well, healthier than a slab of pork belly at least), and quick.

Thomas Keller’s Anchovy Dressing
(makes 2 cups)

1.5 tablespoons chopped garlic
1.5 tablespoons chopped shallots
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 salt-packed anchovy filets, deboned, soaked in milk for 30 minutes, drained and patted dry
1 large egg yolk
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup canola oil
freshly ground pepper

Purée the garlic, shallots, vinegar, mustard, lemon juice and achovies in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a mixer with the paddle attachment and beat in the egg yolk. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the oils. Season with white pepper. Cover and refrigerate. This can be stored for up to 3 days.

About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his bouncing baby boy!

What Others Are Saying

  1. MM February 7, 2006 at 11:20 pm

    Anchovies??? Eeeuuww. I always have to get over the anchovy thing. Took me ages to give puttanesca a try. I guess it’s another psyche-up before I try this recipe then. ‘Cos the salad looks fab. It’s the eggs. And the prawns. And … damn …

  2. GastroChick February 8, 2006 at 1:48 am

    I adore Caesar salad, probably because it is the least healthy of all salads. The Keller recipe looks fab, I also have this book and sometimes stare lovingly at the photos. However, I am little apprehensive as some of the recipes look very complicated

  3. radish February 8, 2006 at 2:53 am

    this looks tasty – i happen to love salads quite bit and eat them almost every day. and anchovies are great – if you get the good ones packed in salt.

  4. P. A. Moed February 8, 2006 at 6:11 am

    That dressing looks marvelous. Good thing I eat anchovies just in Caesar salad and in pasta puttanesca!

  5. nosheteria February 8, 2006 at 9:26 am

    I never thought of placing a poached egg on top of a Caesar salad. Very bourgie and very delicious.

  6. Cin Fredericka February 8, 2006 at 10:33 am

    Gee I’m a huge salad fan! Caesar is one of my fav. Esp when I feel like havin a not too fanciful salad. To me, Caesar salad is simply down-to-earth salad. But I can skip de anchovies part thou if I haf a choice. Otherwise, am jux as fine with it too. Usually I either haf my Caesar plain or topped it up with Grilled Chicken Breast. (Chicken breast MUZ be nicely seasoned & not over-grilled of cux.) Thks for de informative backgrd on how Caesar came abt. Dat’s what I love most abt yr post besides de “Super duper tempting” fd pics.

    P.S.
    Backtrack: Hey CH, forgot to tell U. I finally found Victor’s Dim Sum at Sunshine Plaza. Food is really YUMS & price is really reasonable. Guess wat, aft the 1st introduction of Victor’s to my fren, she got totally hooked on the place. We have since visited the plc on a Really frequent basis. Avg is twice a week. Loved de Steamed Carrot Cake (my fav), Siew Mai, Glutinous Rice & Double Milk Dessert (alias Steamed egg white with Milk) with choice of Almond or Ginger. Oh! He jux added a new item to his menu a few days ago. Chee Cheong Fun with Shrimps. Superb too! He hasn’t had time to officially put it into his menu hence, U jux haf to ask for it when U order.
    Btw, I’ve seen a couple of eatries at Sunshine Plaza, any place U recommend to try there? We’ve full trust in your food recommendation. :)

  7. McAuliflower February 8, 2006 at 10:46 am

    I agree with nosh, the egg on top is fab!

    A weakness… I think i might eat anything if it has a poached egg crown!

  8. Anonymous February 8, 2006 at 1:48 pm

    It will be interesting to see what you have in your fridge. Can you show us? What are the basic ingredients you think one should always have in their fridge

  9. shaz February 8, 2006 at 11:11 pm

    hey chubbyhubby, i agree with S. caesar is no skinny salad. its a psuedo. btw, I added your blog as a link to mine, hope you dun mind.
    shaz from singapore

  10. Anonymous February 8, 2006 at 11:29 pm

    ah, chanced upon your site, wow, its really cool. Luv the pics, recipes and will def try some out. Cool blog

  11. ooishigal February 9, 2006 at 7:55 am

    your blog is one of my favorite!So nice and refreshing! As always, your picture look so good! Thank u for sharing that with us.
    I’m a new food blogger, so i will be very happy if you gave me a little visit!

  12. Michèle February 10, 2006 at 2:03 am

    Oh yum. That egg looks perfect on the top. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a great caesar salad, I’ll give this a try!

  13. The Pearl Onion February 10, 2006 at 10:38 am

    Oh, this look really good. I am not a huge ceasar sala person, but this looks like it has a litlle extra something to it…thanks for sharing it!

  14. Frederico February 10, 2006 at 11:50 am

    Nice salad.. those parmesan bits look like rock candy or something… haha..
    Hey, valentine’s day is coming… share with us a wicked pasta sauce recipe! ;)
    or… a meal to impress a date! hahah

  15. Chubby Hubby February 11, 2006 at 8:27 pm

    MM: Actually, the sauce that Keller makes is quite subtle. You don’t taste the anchovies too much.

    Gastrochick: Yah, his recipes require an army of sous-chefs, or at least a few of Michelle’s ewoks. Bouchon is a much easier book to use. But FL is useful when you use components of his more elaborate dishes.

    Radish: Thanks. I’m actually not an achovy fan. But I think a Caesar isn’t a Caesar without an anchovy dressing. It’s the only time I like them.

    P.A. Moed: Thanks.

    Nosheteria: I love poached eggs on most things! It’s wonderful on salads.

    Cin: Thanks. Hey, super thay you are now a Victor’s regular.

    Mcauliflower: Me too.

    Anonymous: Hmmmmm… good idea. I’ll work on that.

    Shaz: Heh. Thanks for the link.

    Anonymous: Thanks.

    Ooishigal: Welcome to world of food blogging. There are some great people in it. Thanks fo visiting.

    Michele: Cool. Thanks for dropping by.

    Pearl Onion: Most welcome.

    Fred: The lastest post is for you pal.

  16. Anonymous February 12, 2006 at 11:41 am

    Hi CH,

    Love your blog and interesting stories! Keep it going! Hardly find people in Singapore who almost live to eat.. :)

    Where would you recommend to go for some great salad? I’ve tried some which were plain, and the quality’s not there.. Won’t mind paying for good stuff if i can find it! Thinking of getting it for a friend who’s having a bad tummy upset, so i think salad’s a good choice.

    What about nice scones and chicken pies? Any recommendations?

    Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks!

    T.

  17. Anonymous April 18, 2006 at 7:32 am

    holy crap, i’m making this tonight.

  18. koala July 7, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    I made this dressing and it’s delicious! My French husband liked it too. I would describe this as being somewhere between a Caesar’s salad dressing and a balsamic vinegarette. Definitely a keeper.

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